“In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous...”
Crimes of sexual abuse tear apart families through multiple generations. Survivors of sexual abuse often have mixed feelings about following through with prosecution since the assailant is usually someone they know, often a family member. It seems easier just to hide the negative emotional and psychological effects of being victimized. That does not work – a truth buried always finds its way to the light eventually.
In every sexual abuse case I have prosecuted, survivors have been thankful that I take them seriously and put forth the effort to bring them justice. A survivor’s day in court is an essential part of our justice system, even when a jury does not go the way we hoped. Being publicly truthful about sexual victimization is often the first step towards recovery for survivors and their families (not to mention abusers).
Conversely, survivors, juries, judges, and defendants know when a prosecutor does not take claims seriously. A prosecutor’s office must have people and processes in place that provide access to justice for survivors of sexual abuse.
As County Attorney, I will continue to prosecute sexual abuse cases in a way that respects survivors and brings out the truth. I will ensure that prosecutors and victim coordinators have the appropriate experience, training, and mentorship to provide the highest quality of service to survivors and the State of Iowa. Sexual offenders will know that they cannot bury the truth, but that they will be vigorously prosecuted by experienced prosecutors who will take a case to trial if justice so demands.